Snakes of Marietta, GA

Marietta snake

Brown Snake
Latin name: Storeria dekayi
Size: 5 to 15 inches
Venomous: No
The brown snake is known by other names, including De Kay's snake, and is actually native to Canada — Quebec and Southern Ontario. As the name suggests, the species is commonly brown, although it can have lighter tan shades and flecks of grays in the stripe-with-dots pattern along the body, as well as rust-red tones. Brown snakes eat worms, slugs, and snails, with a jaw that is designed to remove the body of a snail from its shell. It may occasionally eat other bugs and insects, although this tends to be by accident. Brown snakes are common across North America, though they aren't easily spotted, preferring to hide under piles of debris, or in loose or soft ground covering.

Florida Brown Snake
Latin name: Storeria victa
Size: 9 to 13 inches
Venomous: No
The brown snake is in abundance across most of North America, but in Georgia, specifically the southeastern areas of the state, the ‘common’ brown snake (Storeria dekayi) is replaced by a subspecies: the Florida brown snake (Storeria victa). All brown snakes are adaptable, and they live in a vast array of different habitat types. Areas that have lots of low ground vegetation and plenty of moisture provide perfect conditions, and they use the ground covering or loose leaf litter to protect them when they venture above ground. For the majority of its time, this snake will be below ground.

Eastern Coachwhip
Latin name: Masticophis flagellum
Size: 42 to 60 inches
Venomous: No
Also known as the whip snake, there are six different subspecies of coachwhip, found in different locations across the Americas. The eastern coachwhip can be found in Georgia, often found close to cultivated spaces, in dry and open areas — dry woods, scrubs, old fields, etc. As well as feasting on small rodents and other, smaller snakes, eastern coachwhips will eat small birds and have been found many feet up in trees. They are quite an aggressive species, and fast, not easily kept in captivity by novice snake-keepers. Thankfully, they would rather slither away from human interactions than stay and fight, being one of the fastest snakes in America, despite the myths you may have read on the internet.

Eastern Copperhead
Latin name: Agkistrodon contortrix
Size: 20 to 40 inches
Venomous: Yes
There is both good and bad news when it comes to the copperhead. The bad news is that it bites more people than any other snake species in the United States, and it’s a venomous species. The good news is that the venom is not potent enough to do serious injury or harm to most human victims. It is said to be a rather painful process, however; we don’t recommend getting close enough to try. It is unlikely that you will see this species of snake for most of the year, but there are two times that it becomes more active, and less in hiding, to feast on the abundant food. Early on in the spring is active copperhead time, alongside the later part of fall. Throughout the rest of the year, the snake hides away.

Marietta snake Eastern Coral Snake
Latin name: Micrurus fulvius
Size: Up to 50 inches
Venomous: Yes
Also known as the American cobra, the common coral snake, and also just the coral snake, the eastern coral snake can be found in Georgia’s southern regions, in mildly vegetated spaces, where it is open and dry. Although larger specimens have grown to almost 50 inches in length, it is quite rare to find a grown adult coral snake that measures more than 30-40 inches. Females are longer and larger than their male counterparts, but males have a longer tail section. Although venomous, this snake much prefers rodents and other snakes, including its own species. A bite to humans is likely to be painful, but it is not likely to cause lasting damage provided medical aid is given. The venom is designed to paralyze prey and cause respiratory failure, but human deaths as a result of this snake bite are incredibly rare.

Corn Snake
Latin name: Pantherophis guttatus
Size: Up to 70 inches
Venomous: No
The humble corn snake is the species most commonly kept as a pet across the world, and because of that, you can get a feel for its temperament: it's one of the most docile and well-tempered snake species there is. That doesn't mean they won't bite or attack when threatened, however, so we still don’t recommend trying to handle a wild corn snake. Because of the selective breeding of these snakes, they are found in such a wide variety of shades, tones, patterns, and colors that they often look the same as other snakes, including venomous ones. Orange and red-toned corn snakes, for example, are often confused with the copperhead snake, which is a venomous one. Corn snakes are actually beneficial to humans, preying on rats and mice that would otherwise destroy crop and animal feed stores.

Marietta snake Florida Cottonmouth
Latin name: Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti
Size: 25 to 40 inches
Venomous: Yes
Also known as the viper, the black moccasin, the swamp moccasin, or the water moccasin, cottonmouth snakes are a venomous, semi-aquatic species. The species is actually the only water-based venomous snake found in the USA. Although not classed as a sea snake, nor as water-adept as one, cottonmouths are excellent swimmers, even spotted, on occasion, swimming far out in the ocean. The snake prefers shallower waters, however, and slow-moving waters. Most cottonmouths are completely black in color, but they do also come in a wide range of other colors and patterns. With the addition of splotches or cross-bands, black, brown, tan, mustard, gray, and even rusty colors have all been noted. This can make them more dangerous as they are then easily confused with non-venomous species.

Glossy Crayfish Snake
Latin name: Regina rigida
Size: 13 to 20 inches
Venomous: No
The glossy crayfish snake is a very aquatic, medium-sized snake, also referred to as simply the crayfish snake, the glossy water snake, the striped water snake, and the glossy swamp snake. As the name suggests, it eats mostly crayfish, meaning that it can only survive in areas that crayfish are known to thrive. Very shy and elusive, even the most experienced of snake-spotters have a tough time trying to track this reptile down, although they are occasionally seen trying to cross the road (or as roadkill) to get ditches that run along the side, and especially when it has been raining.

Striped Crayfish Snake
Latin name: Regina alleni
Size: 13 to 20 inches
Venomous: No
The striped crayfish snake is more commonly associated with Florida, but records suggest that the species has spread out a little into the very bottommost regions of Georgia, in quite high numbers when the snake’s preferred watery habitat is in abundance. This snake is known by an array of other names, including swamp snake, striped swamp snake, and Allen's snake — and the swamp references tell you what you need to know about the habitat of this reptile. It is semi-aquatic, living in swamp-like locations, and also semi-fossorial. What this means is that they spend half of their time in the water, and half of their time burrowing beneath the ground, or burrowing beneath loose or soft ground covering.

Central Florida Crowned Snake
Latin name: Tantilla relicta
Size: 5 to 10 inches
Venomous: No
Only in the most southernmost regions of Georgia will you potentially come across the central Florida crowned snake, named as such because it is most commonly found in Florida. It is a shy snake, rarely seen because of its small size and the fact that they spend a lot of their time underneath loose leaf litter, rocks, fallen trees, and other, similar items in forested areas (especially pine) and also sand hills. You can tell the difference between the central Florida and southeastern crowned snake by looking at the neck. The central Florida subspecies is missing a darker stripe or band between the head and body. When present, it is much paler in shade than its southeastern cousin.

Southeastern Crowned Snake
Latin name: Tantilla coronata
Size: 5 to 10 inches
Venomous: No
A slim, relatively small snake that usually comes in shades of tan and brow with a lighter, pink or yellow-ish underbelly, the southeastern crowned snake is one that you probably won't encounter in Georgia. The snake is only really found in the very southernmost areas, very close to Florida, and it's elusive. Spending a lot of the time beneath logs, rocks, and other vegetation, the snake's colouration makes it easy to move around undetected. The head and chin of this species is often a lot darker, closer to black, and the southeastern crowned snake has a dark stripe that runs across the neck. The central Florida subspecies has a much lighter stripe, or not stripe at all.

Rough Earth Snake
Latin name: Haldea striatula (Formerly known as Virginia striatula)
Size: 7 to 10 inches
Venomous: No
Often confused with other snake species, particularly brown snakes, the rough earth snake is slender and often devoid of markings across the back. Older earth snakes tend to be lighter in color than their juvenile counterparts, and the latter can sometimes have a pale band around the neck, too. This is what has led to the other names it is often known by: brown snake, little brown snake, little striped snake, and small brown viper, amongst many others. It is unlikely that you will easily spot this snake in the wild; it lives underground (fossorial), mostly feasting on worms, especially earthworms — hence its name.

Western Smooth Earth Snake
Latin name: Virginia valeriae elegans
Size: 7 to 10 inches
Venomous: No
As well as other soft-bodied insects, the western smooth earth snake feeds on snails and slugs, but the primary food source for this tan, brown, or reddish-brown snake species is earthworms. Preferred habitats include moist stream valleys, river edges, and other wooded and/or rocky spaces, where earthworms are found in abundance. This snake is a fairly common one, but it's unlikely that you'll spot one. They spend most of their time hiding beneath fallen logs, large rocks, piles or rocks or wood, beneath low-growing vegetation, under garden or outside structures and furniture, and under other types of debris.

Eastern Garter Snake
Latin name: Thamnophis sirtalis
Size: 18 to 26 inches
Venomous: No
The name of this snake literally means striped, or like a garter, which tells you what you need to know about the species: it has a stripe running all the way down the length of its medium-sized body. The stripe is often white tinged with yellow, highly contrasted with the black, brown, or green body. Males are generally smaller than their female counterparts, and the species is one of the most common across North America. This is because of the snake’s ability to adapt to almost any habitat — urban environments included, and also to eat any food type that it has the capability to capture and kill.

Rough Green Snake
Latin name: Opheodrys aestivus
Size: Up to 46 inches
Venomous: No
As the name suggests, this snake species is green — very green! Not entirely green, of course; as with most snake species, the underbelly is considerably lighter than the rest of its body, often a white-yellow shade. When slithering along in green grass, you’d probably miss this snake despite it being more active during the day than at night. It is very thin, is classed as highly arboreal (spending a lot of its time up high in trees), and swims very well. It usually lives close to a body of water, in areas of long grass, woodlands, or meadows (damp).

Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake
Latin name: Heterodon platirhinos
Size: 15 to 42 inches
Venomous: No (Yes, but it doesn't affect humans)
This snake is one of two hog-nosed subspecies found in the state of Georgia., inhabiting open woodlands and other open areas with sandy and soft soil. This can include agricultural land, such as fields of crops or farms; pine or hardwood areas and woodland edges; and dry, well-drained grasslands. A thick-bodied snake with an upturned nose, it is perfectly built for a life that is largely spent underground, or burrowing through ground coverings. They are even adept enough at burrowing that they will create underground burrows or dens, which they use in winter to hibernate.

Southern Hog-Nosed Snake
Latin name: Heterodon simus
Size: 14 to 25 inches
Venomous: No (Yes, but it doesn't affect humans)
There are two subspecies of hog-nosed snake in Georgia – the eastern, and this one: the southern hog-nosed snake. They’re both quite small snakes in terms of length, but are heavy-bodied and quite thick. The eastern subspecies can vary greatly in colouration and markings, but the southern hog-nosed snake is almost always a pale shade with darker spots — usually tan, beige, or brick-ish red, and the spots are dark brown or black. Because of declining numbers, the southern hog-nosed snake is a protected species, and although once thought to inhabit almost all of the east US coastal plains, now is only found, scarcely, in Georgia, the Carolinas, and in Florida.

Eastern Indigo Snake
Latin name: Drymarchon couperi
Size: 40 to 100 inches
Venomous: No
This snake certainly looks foreboding, being the longest species of snake found in the USA, but it is a non-venomous species, and it is a rarely-aggressive one. In fact, it’s so docile that it makes for a great pet species, although this isn't legal (without a permit) in some states. The pet species is just one reason why populations of this wild reptile are in decline, and in the state of Georgia, the species is federally listed as threatened. Although rare, you may encounter the eastern indigo snake in pine scrubs, although it can live anywhere with sandy soils that are well-drained and not too moist.

Eastern Black King Snake
Latin name: Lampropeltis getula nigra
Size: 36 to 50 inches
Venomous: No
The eastern king snake is an awesome snake when you list all of the pros it has to offer. Firstly, it’s beautiful to look at, with striking black-and-white patterns. Secondly, it keeps pest problems at bay by feasting on rats, mice, and other small mammals. Thirdly, it also keeps venomous snake populations down, with a clever intolerance to their venom that very few other animals have. Fourthly, it even keeps its own population numbers in check, with occasional cannibalistic tendencies! And finally – it’s harmless, both in terms of venom and in terms of aggressiveness. If you leave this snake alone, it will generally leave you alone.

Eastern King Snake
Latin name: Lampropeltis getula getula
Size: 36 to 50 inches
Venomous: No
The eastern king snake is a protected species (as are its subspecies) in the state of Georgia, so this isn’t a snake you’re going to want to harm, capture, transport, or kill without doing some serious research into it first. This snake is actually beneficial to have around (provided your property is sealed and you leave it alone): it consumes many rats, mice, and other small pest animals, keeping populations in check. This snake is a mostly harmless snake, non-venomous, and quite striking to look at. The main body of this species is usually black, and there is a chain link-style pattern that runs across it, often in a bright white or yellow color.

Mole King Snake
Latin name: Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata
Size: 30 to 40 inches
Venomous: No
The mole king snake is a relatively docile, secretive, fossorial species that is slow to bite, secrets a foul-scented musky fluid when threatened, and will hiss loudly in a bid to ward off passing predators. The snake spends a lot of its time underground, or hiding underneath things that you would commonly find on the floor in forested areas, such as rocks, logs, fallen trees, in animal burrows, boulders, and in leaf litter. It is well camouflaged there, with its brown-red-gray coloring, but it is sometimes mixed up with the copperhead (a venomous snake), or the milk snake (non-venomous).

Prairie King Snake
Latin name: Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster
Size: 30 to 40 inches
Venomous: No
A fossorial snake that spends most of its life trying to hide underground, it is actually very uncommon to see prairie king snakes in wild Georgia. It is a protected species in the state, which poses problems for property owners when the snake starts to invade into agricultural or residential areas. It’s also a very adaptable snake, and can easily live in barns and backyards just as much as it can its native grasslands, cultivated lands, and edge/border habitats. Also known as the yellow-bellied king snake, and with a few different subspecies, the prairie king snake can have a wide range of colors and markings/patterns, but is typically gray or brown, with darker patches that run down the length of the body.

Scarlet King Snake
Latin name: Lampropeltis elapsoides
Size: 14 to 20 inches
Venomous: No
This snake, despite being rather brightly colored, is seldom seen by people in the wild. They are nocturnal, rarely out during the day, and fossorial, which means that they spend a lot of their time burrowing beneath the surface of the earth, in soft substrates. The species is also a very secretive one, and quite small and slender. Also known as the scarlet or red milk snake, they can be found in a variety of habitats, although it isn’t common to spot them in the wild. The secretive snake does have a habit of enjoying residential swimming pools during the summer, however.

Speckled King Snake
Latin name: Lampropeltis holbrooki
Size: 36 to 50 inches
Venomous: No
Also known as the salt and pepper snake, this subspecies of king snake is every bit as speckled as the name would lead you to believe. With a black body and white or yellow speckles, it almost looks like white noise on a TV that hasn’t been tuned in properly. Non-venomous and usually non-aggressive, the speckled king snake is incredibly adaptable, as all king snakes are; although it is more common to see them in or around a body of water, where they feast on rodents and other small mammals, frogs, lizards, turtle eggs, and other snakes – even the venomous ones!

Florida Pine Snake
Latin name: Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus
Size: 40 to 66 inches
Venomous: No
The Florida pine snake, and pine snakes in general, are a snake species of concern in the state of Georgia. They are uncommon-to-rare, and have been classed as a threatened species in the state — protected, with fines, hunting license revokes, and even jail time given for violations. The main body of this snake is a pale color - usually tan, cream, off-white, or beige; and there is a pattern of darker scales that runs along the length of the body, fading towards the head and getting brighter and more obvious towards the tail end. The pattern can be a variety of spots, blotches, and stripes of scales, and the underbelly is normally gray-toned, devoid of markings, unlike other pine snakes species.

Northern Pine Snake
Latin name: Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus
Size: 45 - 70 inches
Venomous: No
It is in the northernmost parts of Georgia that the northern pine snake dwells, with declining numbers and a threatened status, and state protected. It is a thick-bodied, heavy species, capable of reaching lengths of 70 to 80 inches or more in good conditions, and an excellent burrower. In fact, the snake spends almost all of its time underground. When the weather gets warmer, in spring and summer, it will start to spend more time above ground, chasing and killing small mammals and rodents, helping to keep pest populations down.

Northern Black Racer
Latin name: Coluber constrictor constrictor
Size: 36 to 60 inches
Venomous: No
Just as the name suggests, black racers are almost completely black when they are adults, but they look a lot different as young snakes: light grey and tan shades, with rounded splotches of color across the top in a slightly darker shade. Fully-grown snakes can reach 60 inches in length. They are often confused with a number of other species, including coachwhips, king snakes, and rat snakes. This solitary snake species is quite common across Eastern US, and they have a very adaptable nature, able to survive and thrive in most habitat styles. They prefer areas such as the edges of woods and forests, overgrown fields, thickets, and other wooded spaces, feasting on insects, amphibians, lizards, rats, mice, and even smaller snake species.

Rainbow Snake
Latin name: Farancia erytrogramma
Size: 36 to 48 inches
Venomous: No
The rainbow snake is a very secretive snake, rarely seen out in the wild because of how shy it is, and how much time it spends in cypress swamps, rivers, streams, and blackwater creeks. It is uncommon, but not rare to see the rainbow snake far from a body of water, but they do travel around in their home range, often getting killed by cars as they attempt to cross the road. Often referred to as the eel moccasin, the rainbow snake eats eels alongside a variety of other prey items – salamanders, tadpoles, frogs, and earthworms.

Marietta snake Black Rat Snake
Latin name: Pantherophis obsoletus
Size: Up to 70 inches
Venomous: No
You may also know the black rat snake by a few other names – pilot black snake and western rat snake being just a couple of them. As the name suggests, this snake is almost completely black in color, although different variations and markings have been bred into the species via the pet industry. It is a very docile snake, easy to care for and happy to be handled, but we still don’t recommend attempting to handle a wild snake. The rat snake can look very similar to a number of other snake species that are/can be aggressive in nature.

Eastern Rat Snake
Latin name: Pantherophis alleghaniensis
Size: 36 to 72 inches
Venomous: No
The eastern rat snake is one of the most common snakes across the central part of North America, and you'll commonly find it in the east of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia, especially just after the sun sets, which is when the species is most active. The primary food source for the eastern rat snake is rodents, and this can often lead it into residential and agricultural areas. Aside from that, it commonly inhabits a wide variety of other environments, such as isolated woodlots, wetlands, and hardwood forests.

Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake
Latin name: Sistrurus miliarius miliarius
Size: 16 to 24 inches
Venomous: Yes
One of many subspecies of the pygmy rattlesnake, also known as the ground rattlesnake, death rattler, leaf rattler, and eastern pygmy snake, the Carolina subspecies is only found in a few states — parts of South and North Carolina, into Alabama and west-central Georgia. It can live in an assortment of habitat types, but is usually found in pine forests, sand hills, and other, drier territories, especially where there are gopher tortoise burrows to take over. Other subspecies of pygmy rattlesnake tend to spend more time closer to water. The main food source for the Carolina pygmy rattlesnake is frogs, but lizards, rodents, small mammals and insects are also occasionally eaten.

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
Latin name: Sistrurus miliarius barbouri
Size: 16 to 24 inches
Venomous: Yes
This subspecies of pygmy rattlesnake is usually only found in the very southernmost regions of Georgia, the population spilling over from Florida. An adaptable snake that can live in a wide variety of habitats, you will frequently find them in swamplands and other similar bodies of water — wet prairies, pastures, savannas, floodplains, etc. The solitary snake feeds on prey that lives mostly in water, such as lizards, small snakes, frogs and toads, and, when above ground, rodents and other small mammals, using their tail to mimic an insect and lure victims in.

Timber Rattlesnake
Latin name: Crotalus horridus
Size: 36 to 60 inches
Venomous: Yes
The timber rattlesnake lives in environments that are moist, including swamps, streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers, as well as grasslands, meadows and hilly woodlands surrounding or close-by. This is where it will find the majority of its prey in abundance: rodents, squirrels, rabbits, frogs, other snakes, lizards, and birds/bird eggs. In many other states across the US, the timber rattlesnake is protected by law due to declining numbers. It is also considered a threatened species, which means that very strict rules are in place for their removal and transportation.

Northern Red-Bellied Snake
Latin name: Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata
Size: Up to 12 inches
Venomous: No
Also known as the fire snake, this species has a fiery-red underbelly, giving them their name. The rest of them can be a wide variety of colors, including black, brown, grey, tan, and a mixture of them all. The latter part of their name: occipitomaculata means “spotted back of the head", which refers to the yellow (or sometimes black) dots on the back of the head. The species is a very secretive one, and it's hard to spot in the woodland habitats in which it lives, often underneath loose leaf litter, fallen trees, piles of wood or rocks, and similar. They prefer moist areas, choosing swamps, marshes, and woodlands, and also branching out into moist meadows, wet fields, etc.

Eastern Ribbon Snake
Latin name: Thamnophis sauritus
Size: 7 to 35 inches
Venomous: No
Also known as the common ribbon snake, and one of four subspecies found in North America, the ribbon snake has been given its name because of the way it looks: long and thin, like a ribbon. Black in color, with three stripes (one down the back, one on each side) that are usually a greenish-yellow, this species is often confused with the common garter snake, but the eastern ribbon snake is slimmer, has a longer tail section, and has white lips. These snakes like to hunt for prey late at night and first thing in the morning, chasing and capturing insects, frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, tadpoles, and small fish. In times of low food resources, female ribbon snakes have been known to eat their own youngsters.

Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Latin name: Thamnophis sauritus sackenii
Size: 16 to 30 inches
Venomous: No (Yes, but it doesn't affect humans)
It is in south-eastern areas of Georgia that you may find the peninsula ribbon snake, which is also sometimes called the Florida ribbon snake because of where it is most commonly found. A semi-aquatic species, these snakes like water that is relatively quiet, free from humans, and shallow. The border vegetation helps for when the snake needs protection from predators, but open areas are enjoyed at basking time. Small frogs, toads, salamanders, small fish, and tadpoles make up the bulk of this snake's diet, and juveniles are believed to eat insects and spiders, too.

Southern Ring-Necked Snake
Latin name: Diadophis punctatus punctatus
Size: 10 to 15 inches
Venomous: No (Yes, but it doesn't affect humans)
Out of all of the snakes found in the USA, this species of snake covers the most regions, and it has many different subspecies, each with slightly different markings, or living in slightly different locations. In coastal plains of Georgia, you may encounter the southern ring-necked subspecies — or you would, if it wasn't such an elusive and small creature. It generally has a more marked (or more pronounced markings) underbelly and is smaller than its northern ring-necked cousin. Ring-necked snakes, generally, are very adaptable and they can live in a variety of habitats. As well as wooded areas, you may find them in mountainous regions, forests, grasslands, and floodplains.

Northern Scarlet Snake
Latin name: Cemophora coccinea copei
Size: 14 to 20 inches
Venomous: No
Although this snake can look pretty terrifying, with bright red or orange stripes that make it appear venomous, the northern scarlet snake is a non-venomous and relatively harmless, small species. They don't often bite humans, even when in close contact, although this shouldn't be taken for granted; all snakes defend themselves when they feel it is necessary. This snake has more to fear from humans than we do of it; more and more are found in the road after collisions with vehicles, and they are also captured for the pet trade, and run out of habitats to make space for commercial properties.

Black Swamp Snake
Latin name: Seminatrix pygaea
Size: 15 to 25 inches
Venomous: No
Black swamp snakes like to live exactly where it sounds: in the swamps. They are a very aquatic species, enjoying lakes, ponds, bogs, bays, and other areas of wetlands where lots of vegetation is found. This is also where most of their prey items are found – salamanders, leeches, toads, frogs, tadpoles, and small fish. Black swamp snakes are a relatively small species – only 20-25 inches, maximum – so prey items are quite small. It is unlikely that you will come across one, despite swamp snakes being very active during both the day and night, and having a bright red underbelly against a dark-black body; they are one of the most secretive species. Because of this, they are classed as a “species of conservation concern” and a protected snake in Georgia.

Banded Water Snake
Latin name: Nerodia fasciata
Size: 25 to 50 inches
Venomous: No
Found commonly in the vicinity of freshwater, such as marshes, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, swamps, and other types of wetlands, this semi-aquatic species comes in a range of colors: red, brown, black, orange. The bands of color are usually darker across the top, and the snake has a lighter underbelly. Colouration darkens as the snake ages; mature specimens can look almost entirely one dark shade. Banded water snakes are active during the day and night, and they feed on amphibious prey: fish, frogs, lizards, newts, etc., found in freshwater. They also give birth to live young, around 15-30, mid-to-late summer.

Brown Water Snake
Latin name: Nerodia taxispilota
Size: Up to 60 inches
Venomous: No
A heavy and thick-bodied snake species, the brown water snake is known by a few other names — great water snake, water rattle, false moccasin, and pied water snake. This gives you some idea of what it looks like — similar to a moccasin, which is a venomous snake. The two species live in similar habitats (streams and swamps), and with dark dark brown coloring, with even darker patches of color, it’s easy to understand why it would be confused with other, more dangerous snakes.

Diamondback Water Snake
Latin name: Nerodia rhombifer
Size: 30 to 50 inches
Venomous: No
The diamondback water snake is a green-brown colored snake with a pattern across the back that loosely resembles a diamond-shape repeated. This pattern is usually in a much darker color, close to black, and the combination of colors and markings help the snake to look almost invisible in the swamps, rivers, and other bodies of water that it inhabits. It prefers slow-moving water, where it fishes by lowering its head down into the water from a branch or log above. If predators appear, the snake simply drops down and swims away.

Marietta snake Green Water Snake
Latin name: Nerodia floridana
Size: Up to 60 inches
Venomous: No
Although relatively harmless, the green water snake is an intimidating-looking snake, being the biggest water snake found in the USA and Canada. The largest specimen ever recorded measured in at a whopping 74 inches, but it is unusual for snakes to get quite that large. It is only in the southernmost part of Georgia that you are likely to encounter this snake, preferring to live in wetlands that are open, calm, and with plenty of vegetation for coverage protection. That’s where it finds the majority of its prey, which it will devour whole, including tadpoles, frogs, salamanders, and various fish — bass, sunfish, and crappies.

Northern Water Snake
Latin name: Nerodia sipedon
Size: 20 to 55 inches
Venomous: No
The northern water snake isn't a typically aggressive snake, but it will snap and bite if threatened by predators, which includes humans and dogs. Some people get this snake confused with the rattlesnake; the markings can sometimes look similar. Often dark in color with shades of gray, tan, or brown, there are bands of blotches that can make it look similar to its rattling cousin. As the name suggests, the northern water snake inhabits bodies of water — river sloughs, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, streams, marshes, and bogs. The more still the water, the better for this species; and they also like open water to allow them to make good use of sunlight during the day.

Marietta snake Plain-bellied Water Snake
Latin name: Nerodia erythrogaster
Size: 24 to 40 inches
Venomous: No
Once known as six different subspecies, the plain-bellied water snake is now the recognized species for blotched, red-bellied, yellow-bellied, copper-bellied, and Bogert's water snakes — and as the name suggests, the species is a mostly aquatic one. The coloring of this snake is solid, although it can range from greens, browns, olives, blacks and grays, and lighter-toned snakes can have what appears to be blotches or markings running along the back. With a thick body and a pale, cream-yellow/pink underside, it is often confused with a number of other water-borne snakes, such as banded water snakes. The solid, un-patterned underside is what gives the species away.

Eastern Worm Snake
Latin name: Carphophis amoenus
Size: Up to 13 inches
Venomous: No
You probably won’t see the eastern worm snake if you live in the Coastal plains of Georgia, but it is fairly common in other areas across Virginia. In actual fact, you probably won’t see this species of snake at all; it spends most of its time burrowing around underground and beneath leaf litter. If you do spot one, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just a larger worm. It looks a little like a worm: brown in color, almost wet-looking, with shiny scales. The underbelly and bottom-sides are lighter. This species eats its namesake: worms. Earthworms to be more exact, although they aren’t averse to the odd other, soft-bodies insect from time to time.